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::>Smartphones > 2014 > 10 > Sony Xperia Z2

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22-10-2014


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Sony Xperia Z2 smartphone: review and testing

Every year the competition in the mobile market only spins up and becomes more interesting. As a result all of us win. The end users obtain a wide range of devices to suit every taste and budget. Own struggle in this market segment actively continues the division of the Japanese company Sony Corporation - Sony Mobile Communications AB. It is proved by the introduction of policies of production of new flagship smartphones every six months, which enables the company to conquer the market needs and fully satisfy them.

Sony Xperia Z2

A striking example is a top smartphone Sony Xperia Z2, which incorporates the main advantages and lost disadvantages of its predecessors. The novelty is equipped with a 5.2-inch Full HD IPS-screen, high-performance processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, main camera of 20.7 megapixels and a number of other equally interesting features, which we detail below. We suggest beginning with a review of the technical characteristics of new item:

Producer

Sony

Model

Xperia Z2

Type, form-factor

Smartphone, monoblock

Communication standards

2G (GSM)

850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz

3G (UMTS)

850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 MHz

4G (LTE)

700 / 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100 / 2300 / 2600 MHz

Broadband data transfer

GPRS (32-48 Кb/s), EDGE (236 Кb/s), HSDPA (up to 42,2 Мb/s), HSUPA (up to 5,76 Мb/s), LTE Cat.4 (up to 50 Мb/s UL, up to 150 Мb/s DL)

SIM-card

Micro-SIM

CPU

Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (MSM8974AB): 4 cores Krait 400, up to 2,3 GHz, L2 cache - 2 МB, technology process 28-nm HPm

GPU

Qualcomm Adreno 330: up to 550 MHz, support of OpenGL ES 3.0, OpenVG 1.1, OpenCL 1.2 and DirectX 9.0c 

Display

IPS, 5,2" TRILUMINOS, 1920 x 1080 p (423 ppi), multi-touch up to 10 touches, protective Asahi Dragontrail Glass, technology X-Reality and Live Colour

RAM

3 GB, dual-channel LPDDR3

ROM

16 GB

Card-reader

microSD (up to 128 GB)

Interfaces

1 x micro-USB

1 x Micro-SIM

1 x microSD

1 x audio mini-jack 3,5 мм

Multimedia

Sound processing

ClearAudio+

Speaker system

Stereo

Microphone

Stereo

FM-radio

+

Camera

Main

Exmor RS (1/2.6"): 20,7 МP, BSI, aperture f/2.0, autofocus, LED-flash, digital picture stabilization SteadyShot, «HDR»-shooting, video recording in format 4K Ulta HD (30 FPS)

Front

2,2 МP, aperture f/2.8, fixed focus, video recording in format 1080p

Communication

Wi-Fi

802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2,4/5 GHz)

(Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot)

Bluetooth

4.0

GPS/GLONASS

+/+

NFC

+

IrLED

DLNA/Miracast

+/+

MHL

+ (MHL 3.0)

Sensors

accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, light sensor, LED-indicator, geomagnetic sensor (compass), barometer

Battery

lithium-ion cell, non-detachable: 3200 mАh

Charger

Input: 100~240 V AC at 50/60 Hz

Output: 5 V DC 1,5 А

Other

Dust and moisture protection according standards IP55 and IP58

Dimensions

146,8 x 73,3 x 8,2 mm

Weight

163 g

Color

Black

OS

Android 4.4.2 KitKat + proprietary shell

Warranty

12 months

Website

Sony Mobile Communications AB  

Packaging and content

      Sony Xperia Z2 Sony Xperia Z2

The smartphone is shipped in a compact square traditional packaging of relatively dense cardboard. It has moderate and concise design. The face side has the image of the smartphone with the model's name, as well as company logos and the World Cup in Brazil. In addition, the attention is attracted by complete image sets, which is equipped with digital noise reduction function.

On the reverse side you can see the main features of Sony Xperia Z2, which are represented in icons. Here are pictures of color variations of new item.

Sony Xperia Z2

In the kit you can find everything you need to complete the work with your smartphone:

  • user's guide
  • warranty card;
  • charger (5 V, 1.5 A);
  • cable micro-USB↔USB;
  • stereo headphones Sony MDR-NC31EM with headphones of vacuum design and digital noise reduction.

Also, there is an additional number of accessories that you can buy separately. Their complete list is available on the manufacturer's website.

Design and elements layout

Sony Xperia Z2

Although we have already the third generation of flagship smartphones, but all of them have native characteristics of Sony Xperia Z. Sony has decided not to experiment with the look of its next flagship, but to use the time-tested concept OmniBalance. So we have the most balanced monoblock, which looks pretty nice and stylish. It should be noted that a similar approach to the issue of the flagship smartphone is used for example by Samsung (all items of the series Samsung Galaxy S are quite similar to each other). As with its predecessor Sony Xperia Z1, the main body materials of Sony Xperia Z2 are glass and metal. Front and back panels are made of strong mineral glass (Asahi Dragontrail Glass), and frame from anodized aluminum, which is protected against corrosion and has insulating properties. New product is available in three color variations (white, black, and purple).

Despite the relatively larger screen (5.2 vs. 5 inches), the smartphone is only slightly overall (146,8 x 73,3 mm to 144 x 74 mm) and even thinner (8.2 mm vs. 8.5 mm), and also lighter (163 g vs 170 g) compared with the Sony Xperia Z1. Besides, the novelty has lost quite controversial protective films on glass surfaces that actively collect scrapes. If needed, the user can independently find the film and stick it.

         Sony Xperia Z2 Sony Xperia Z2

Along the contour of the glass is damper matte plastic bezel, which is raised above the glass by a millimeter and thus can protect it in case of fall from a low height. The width of frames around the display is: at the sides - 5 mm from the top - 17 mm, and the bottom - 16 mm. Above the display is: proximity and lighting sensors, company logo and eye front camera. At the edges, bottom and top are stereo speakers holes, covered with black metal mesh (in the previous flagship there was only one speaker at the lower end). Upper speaker has an integrated notification sensor, flashing different colors (white, green, orange and red) depending on the event. Illumination can be switched off in the settings. The lower part is empty, since the buttons are onscreen.

Metal edging (quite pleasant tactile feel) is shifted at the edges and has a curvature at the ends. The central part is natural and along the edges at the ends it is painted in black with a noticeable purple tinge.

 

Sony Xperia Z2Sony Xperia Z2

 

 

At the top there is an optional microphone and universal audio jack (mini-jack 3,5 mm). The last has no plug, but it does not allow water to seep into the device. Nonetheless, the manufacturer does not to recommend do use it for 2 hours after immersion in water smartphone. The lower edge contains the main microphone hole and attach of the hand strap or trinkets.

     Sony Xperia Z2 Sony Xperia Z2

 

The right side of the case Sony Xperia Z2 has: microSD socket (covered with a metal cap with gasket), a proprietary round button "Power/lock" (you can unlock by double-tapping the screen, but this method should be activated in the settings), the volume rocker and two-position button of camera. The left side (under the plug) contains: connector MHL which combines the functionality of interfaces HDMI and micro-USB; red button to reset the device; plastic tray for Micro-SIM, which can be easily removed without tools. Below you can find open sockets for connection of new item to the dock station.

Sony Xperia Z2

On the back nondemountable surface smartphone has: main camera lens, framed in a metal ring; bright single-section LED-flash (flashlight is present) and the icon of antenna NFC-module. Below is a logo «Sony», and near the edge «Xperia».

As the predecessors Sony Xperia Z2 has dust and moisture protection according to the standards Ingress Protection (IP) 55/58. It says that the smartphone will not be damaged by swimming in fresh water to a depth of 1.5 m and up to half an hour (if all the plugs are closed). When charging is complete a message appears to the user care about the integrity of the plugs.

Novelty build quality is at the highest level: there are no gaps or clearances. Body has sufficient rigidity, although it has some torsional compliance, but it is not critical and is a consequence of the specificity of used materials.

In general Sony Xperia Z2 is pretty easy to use, but the dimensions are felt. Although users who used to work with modern flagships or phablets will be quite satisfied. The controls are located on the successful places are well found in the dark. Unfortunately, the smartphone was released quite slippery and easily soiled, despite the quality oleophobic coating.

Display

Sony Xperia Z2

In previous flagship one of the most controversial decisions was mediocre screens that spoil the overall positive impression of the smartphone. And it was quite surprising, given the vast experience of Sony to produce televisions. Finally on the third attempt the company took into account this factor and corrected this disadvantage. Sony Xperia Z2 is equipped with a proprietary display TRILUMINOS (IPS-matrix), which uses imaging technology X-Reality (can be turned off in the settings) and LED Live Colour, positively affecting the contrast and color gamut. Between the glass and the sensor there is no air gap (the technology OGS - One glass solution). Display is protected by a tempered glass Asahi Dragontrail Glass, which has a relatively good anti-glare filter and high-quality oleophobic (grease repellent) coating. Thanks to the latter it is a fairly comfortable and easy fingers sliding.

Sony Xperia Z2

Resolution of 5.2-inch screen is 1920 × 1080 (Full HD), which, in our opinion is the best indicator for a diagonal. At the same time the pixel density is 423 ppi, which is enough to display very smooth fonts and get high detailing image as a whole.

Traditionally to all IPS-matrix the screen is characterized by maximum viewing angles and high contrast (although quite a bit inferior to competitors at maximum brightness). Image boasts of bright and saturated colors (especially when viewing photos and videos), which subjectively are correct but oversaturated. But due to this the picture becomes a more realistic.

    Sony Xperia Z2 Sony Xperia Z2    Sony Xperia Z2

 

 

The new product provides white balance adjustment and basic color channels (RGB). Due to this, each user can adjust the display to own taste.

Screen brightness can be changed manually or use automatic adjustment. The maximum level is enough to consider the information on a sunny day. But the rate of minimum brightness is quite comfortable to work in the dark. Proximity sensor locks the screen when you put the smartphone to your ear. Touch display plate recognize up to 10 simultaneous touches, and their processing is done without any complaints. There is a support of high sensitivity mode for use the device in gloves.

In general, according to the subjective impressions, display Sony Xperia Z2 has reached a qualitatively new level: bright, contrasting with maximum viewing angles and vivid colors, although little oversaturated.

Sound
As already mentioned, the smartphone Sony Xperia Z2 is equipped with stereo speakers, which are located near the edges the front panel (bottom and top). Multimedia speakers give out quite pleasant and rather loud sound, especially given the protection of the model. There is no distortion at all volume range: it is quite a wide frequency range, there is even a hint of bass. In general, they provide high-quality sound, which is enough for games, videos, hands-free, and even listen to favorite tracks.

The novelty has bright corporate player Walkman, which traditionally has a large number of technologies and options (surround sound, equalizer, the ability to edit tags, etc.). Among them we want to highlight the function ClearAudio+, the activation of which not only increases the volume, but also improves the clarity and richness of the sound. In this case the activation of individual options (Clear Stereo, Clear Bass and Clear Phase) which are part of ClearAudio + subjectively only degrades the sound quality.

Sony Xperia Z2

Complete stereo headset Sony MDR-NC31EM with headphones of vacuum type supports digital noise reduction (enabled in the settings). It is equipped with a 5-pin connector and two microphones that monitor the background sound. The reproduced sound in the headphones is characterized by a clear and relatively good quality and large stock volume. Maximum benefit from the noise reduction can be estimated at a low volume level: in this case the noise is pretty good. But at high volume they cannot be heard.

The smartphone has built-in radio that lets you listen to FM-radio stations operating in the frequency range from 87.5 to 108 MHz. Traditionally to turn on the radio it is necessary to connect a headset, which is used as an antenna.

During testing no defects were found: a clear voice quality, loud enough (even too much, but it depends on the operator and the number of the interlocutor) and quite pleasant sound transmission.

Overall, Sony Xperia Z2 sounds quite good as headphones or without them. Music fans should appreciate it. Moreover, thanks to high-quality complete sets there is no need to purchase headphones.

Camera

Sony Xperia Z2 is equipped with two modules of digital cameras. Front has a 2.2 megapixel sensor and a lens with an aperture of f/2.8. It is able to record photos and videos with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 that is Full HD. The focus here is fixed.

Sony Xperia Z2

Footage video and photographic material is characterized by a sufficiently high quality. Its capacity is enough for video calls and today's popular self. Detailing is at an acceptable level. The viewing angle is not very big, but ample and does not cause complaints.

Sony Xperia Z2

The main camera has branded module Sony Exmor RS (1/2.3”) with a resolution of 20.7 megapixels and a fairly wide 6-lens (Series Sony G Lens) with an aperture of f/2.0. Focal length in 35mm equivalent is 27 mm, which gives a fairly wide viewing angle. Obtained image is processed by the processor brand Bionz. Also there is single-section bright LED-flash, quite accurate and fast autofocus, and digital image stabilization (SteadyShot). The maximum image resolution is 5248 × 3936 (20.7 MP) at a ratio of 4:3 and 3840 × 2160 (8 MP) at a ratio of 16:9. Video shooting is available in formats 1080p (at 30 and 60 fps) and 4K Ultra HD (3840 × 2160).

Note that the light-receiving array is large enough for the phone (1/2.3” against more conventional 1/3"). Such solutions can be found in the entry-level cameras, which should have a positive impact on the quality of the received images (the bigger matrix, the better).

The overall quality of the photo and video meets modern flagship status. This time, Sony did a great job on the processing algorithms derived from the photo module data. The resulting picture is characterized by great details across the frame with a pleasant and natural color reproduction and high contrast. Of course, in low light manifestations of lubrication are possible, but you can enable digital stabilization, which is partially correct the situation by raising ISO. Mode «HDR» is also good as it copes well with direct responsibility to expand the color gamut, though it is slightly inferior to its main competitors. All above said can be applied to video. The sound and picture do not cause any of mourning.  

It is important to note that when you start the camera by manual button it goes into Superautomatic mode (iAuto), that always shoots at resolution 3840 × 2160 (8 megapixels). But this picture absolutely does not lose quality. And for those who want to dig into the settings should start the camera in "Manual" mode using the screen buttons. While at the maximum resolution for some reason there is no the access to all the functions.

Also worthy of mention is the fact that due to the presence of protection against moisture and mechanical buttons on the camera shooting can be carried out even under water.

Also worthy of mention is the fact that due to the presence of protection against moisture and mechanical buttons on the camera shooting can be carried out even under water.

The main menu of camera settings visually looks very simple and intuitive. It has a huge number of settings, functions and modes. Among them we should highlight: «HDR» («Dynamic mode»), «Info-eye» (the ability to add in a frame objects of virtual reality), «Timeshift burst» (the camera takes 61 frames before you press the shutter, which allows you to select only the best) , «Social live» (able to immediately upload photos to Facebook), «AR effect» (the ability to add photos and videos in different animation effects and more elements of reality), «Timeshift video» (shooting mode HD-video at 120 fps and further choice of a segment with slow motion), «Background defocus» (the possibility of blurring the background), «Creative effect» (effects for video-type flip, reflect movements, color correction, and miniature). If this is not enough for, then press the button "+Applications" to download new ones.


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